Religious Formation

Can you believe it is December already? 

December is a wonderful month in the Church. We have so much to celebrate!!

We do have classes December 9th and 16th.  However, there will be no religious education classes on December 23rd or 30th for our Christmas break.

Classes will resume on January 6th. 

Go to formed.org and sign up for your FREE membership today. Under our “community” page, you’ll find Advent features to enhance your Advent celebrations at home.  There are film features for the family and interesting talks about feasts during Advent. Please, check out our Community page today! 

Some interesting days coming in December: 

The Feast Day for St. Nicholas is on December 6th; there is a 9:00am Mass at St. Philip Neri.

St. Nicholas is known for his love of children.  He anonymously gave away his family inheritance to children in need until it was all gone. His acts of generosity and love inspired the story of Santa Claus (Saint Nicholas). Traditionally, children leave their shoes outside the door the night before St. Nicholas day and in the morning find sweet treats and/or little gifts in their shoes. It is a wonderful way to celebrate this loving saint.  To learn more about the real St. Nick and ways to celebrate his feast day, go to www.stnicholascenter.org. 

The Feast of the Immaculate Conception on December 8th is a holy day of obligation. That means all Catholics are obligated to go to Mass on that day. At St. Philip Neri, there is a vigil Mass at 6:30 pm on December 7th.  Many people erroneously believe that the Immaculate Conception is a term interchangeable with the virgin birth of Christ.  It is in actuality the gift of grace granted to Mary in her mother’s womb.  This gift allowed Mary to be born without Original Sin, so that she would grow to be a spotless vessel for the conception and birth of the Messiah, Jesus. This is why the angel called her “Full of Grace.” 

The Feast of St. Juan Diego is December 9th. (His feast day falls on Sunday, so you will be at Mass anyway). He is the humble man to whom the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared in a field near Mexico City in the 16th century. She presented him with roses (in the winter) and her image appeared on his tilma (similar to a poncho made of a kind of grass). 

The Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe is December 12th; there is a weekday Mass at 7:00am that morning.  This feast day celebrates Our Lady’s appearance to St. Juan Diego in a field near Mexico City in the 16th Century. Her image appeared on St. Juan’s tilma in a style reminiscent of that described in Revelations chapter 12. 

Then of course we celebrate the birth of Christ on December 25th.  Christmas (Christ’s Mass) is also a holy day of obligation. Masses at St. Philip Neri include: December 24th at 5pm and 10pm and December 25th at 9:00am. 

The Feast of the Holy Family is on December 30th. The primary purpose of the Church instituting and promoting this feast is to present the Holy Family as the model and exemplar of all Christian families. 

The Solemnity of Mary, the Holy Mother of God is on January 1st, also a holy day of obligation.  Mass at St. Philip Neri will be at 9:00am on that Tuesday. It is the last day of the octave of Christmas.  Pope Paul VI said this solemnity is “meant to commemorate the part played by Mary in this mystery of salvation.  It is meant also to exalt the singular dignity which this mystery brings to the holy Mother…through whom we were found worthy to receive the Author of life.” 

I hope this information enriches your family these Advent and Christmas seasons. God Bless.